Despite its frequency in American homes, stachybotrys mold hadn’t been brought to the public’s attention until recent years. This form of mold is naturally present in the environment and helps to decay organic matter in the outdoors. However, it has shown to be one of the molds that are most likely to grow within our homes. Recent studies have shown that exposure to stachybotrys mold can negatively affect our health, just like many other toxic molds. It is of the utmost importance to recognize exactly what the fungus is and how to handle the situation should you find it inside your own home.
Searching for more information on stachybotrys mold and other forms of toxic mold? Read the ServiceMaster of Charleston blog to find all the best mold tips and tricks from the experts!
Characteristics of Stachybotrys Mold
More formally known as stachybotrys chartarum, this genus of mold is normally dark brown or black in color with a slimy, soot-like texture. Like many other molds, it requires moisture, a nutrient-source, warm temperature, and time to grow and flourish. You may find it in places with standing water or a 90% or higher level of humidity. One characteristic that makes stachybotrys different from other indoor molds is that it can continue to grow even after the surface water source has been dried up. Since it relies on material with high cellulose content for nutrients, it can commonly be found on building materials such as ceiling tile, drywall, wallpaper, cardboard boxes, or even paper files. It also develops much more slowly than other molds, usually one to two weeks after moisture buildup.
The reason many homeowners shiver at the words stachybotrys mold is because of what happens after it begins to grow. Although the growth initially starts slow, it can very quickly spread and become the dominant mold in the house. It can even overcome other mold types that may have colonized first! It can also be spread by spores through the air, so cleaning must be done carefully and with appropriate controls.
The ingestion or breathing in of stachybotrys spores in sizable amounts can lead to allergic reactions and many other health issues. Research has shown that exposure to the stachybotrys mold can lead to lower immune system levels, skin irritation, and even viral infections. How does this happen? A mycotoxin called trichothecenes is a poison that has been found to be produced by stachybotrys mold. In addition to the above symptoms, you may also experience indicators such as:
- Headaches and/or Slight Fever.
- Sore Throat
- Tingling or Burning Nose
- Chronic Fatigue
- Attention/Concentration Problem
- Hair Loss
- Coughing With Blood
The severity of these symptoms relies on the health of the infected persons before the mold and also the length of exposure. If you begin to notice inexplicable signs like these that either carryout or worsen, it may be time for mold remediation services!
How to Clean Stachybotrys Mold
There are helpful guidelines that you may follow to make more informed decisions on how to clean mold in your home. If the infected area is less than 10 square feet, you can usually take care of the mold yourself. However, if it has taken up any more space than this, we highly recommend you bring in an expert. It is also important that you have the necessary materials to protect yourself from the mold spores and prevent them from spreading to other areas of your house. If you are willing to clean the mold yourself, here is what you will need:
- Face Mask
- Rubber Gloves
- 1 Quart of Warm Water
Combining the anti-fungi characteristics of vinegar and borax together gives you a natural and Earth-friendly mixture that is a powerhouse against mold. Just follow these simple directions once you have your supplies:
- Combine ½ vinegar with ¼ cup borax and the warm water. Shake the mixture thoroughly.
- Apply the mixture to a cloth that you will be able to dispose of after cleaning.
- Pour a small amount of the vinegar/borax solution to the mold, and use the cloth to scrub it away.
- Wipe away any mold debris that has been dislodged.
- Repeat the above directions until all traces of the mold are gone.
Could it be black mold instead of stachybotrys? Read our tips on when it’s time to call for a black mold test in your home.
Say Goodbye to Stachybotrys Mold By Calling ServiceMaster of Charleston
Our reliable mold remediation and mold testing services have been trusted by the Charleston community for many years. We understand the importance of ridding your home of mold right away, so we’ll be ready to begin the process as soon as possible with the latest technology and proven techniques. Let our professionally trained technicians restore your peace of mind and return your home to normal. Contact us today and let us know what we can do for you!